The wild unforgiving landscape,
The perilous heat and,
The untamed sun.
A fools conquest the land was.
Dawn comes to the very boundary of the empire,
standing on the uncontrolled border.
A string of forts stretch long and thin,
covering the horizon with their power.
Dawn breaks as the men wash and meditate,
affixing there turban to begin the day.
Sensing a looming threat in the air,
the Sikhs man their posts.
Someone tells a joke to break the tension,
everybody laughs, but the feeling remains.
The lookout shouts about an enormous mass moving on the horizon,
The twenty-one takes their defensive positions.
At least 10 thousand tribesmen,
once there allies but now, in full retaliation,
descending on the forts with only the signalling post,
standing in there way.
The unit is piling up ammunition,
barring the gates to there tiny compound.
The signalman sends a tiny message,
"Can you send help?",
Only with a slight delay, "no".
The men in the unit gathered around their commander,
Ishar Singh, knowing fully that they could make a break for it,
Ishar then tells them calmly about what they are already,
in their hearts, are ready for.
They will stay and,
They will fight.
They will delay the oncoming tribesmen,
as long as possible.
They will buy the forts the time they need,
to call the reinforcements.
This is the first part of the poem 'Saragarhi' and it is based on the events of September 12th, 1897. This is about 21 Sikhs sacrificing their lives to help their brothers.